I love reading. I could spend hours every day reading. I often do spend hours reading each day – more for work and for school than for pleasure (leisure reading is a rare activity of mine these days) … but even reading for work and classes is interesting. After all, it’s reading. It’s learning new things, coming to know things about people, about life. Reading is interacting at some level with the author, learning about them or experiencing life with them. It’s being challenged in some way regarding ideas or concepts.
I love writing too. When I read, writing is an automatic outcropping. I get ideas and inspiration from the things that I read to where I have to respond in some way. Like music, reading evokes some sort of response, and for me, the common response is to write.
Therein lies the problem. I could write for hours. With the ideas in my mind and the inspiration in my heart, I could sit and write pretty much all day … but at the same time I can’t. And that’s one of the greatest challenges I face as a writer.
Last week, the professor talked about a short story we had read. As she talked, a concept started to formulate in my mind, and words from that concept. I wanted to sit down after the class was over so that I could write it down, but I had another class starting in fifteen minutes clear across campus. After that, another class … and another. Then a PE class. Then off to pick up the kids from school and head home to the busyness of being a mom and delving into all that entails.
By the time I came around to it, the moment had passed and the words I had formulated were lost. The concept is still there somewhere, but it’s not the same, because the feeling is gone. And so much of writing is feeling. It’s the emotion and the pictures that the emotion paints in the mind. It’s the words that come from those pictures, which just aren’t the same if I try to contrive it hours or days or weeks later.
I don’t have a ready solution to this, my latest and greatest writing challenge. I still enjoy reading, and I still love writing. And I will write, when I can and what I can. There are still moments when I am inspired and nothing can distract me from stopping and jotting something down, or at least the start of something. A few words or sentences. Sometimes that’s enough to inspire me to continue the thoughts until it forms a cohesive and complete thought.
Sometimes I just put it aside until later. These put-aside-until-later articles fill files my computer. I have hundreds of them. At this point in time, they just sit there … but maybe one day I’ll be able to take the time to look through them and see what comes of them. You never know.
But until then, I guess with writing (as with anything else) all I can do is the best I can with what I have … and trust God to figure out the rest. That’s the most we can do with anything, isn’t it? And since all things are in His hands – including the seasons of our lives – it is enough. Something beautiful will eventually come of it … in His perfect time.
[What’s the greatest challenge you’re facing right now in your writing (or your calling/activity/vocation)? Feel free to comment below or contact me. Maybe together we can figure out some solutions.]